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Tamiya WWI British Tank 1/35.


Ian A
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  • Julien changed the title to Tamiya WWI British Tank 1/35.

Well I have to say that this is a bloody good first effort!

 

The mud along the bottom is perhaps a little thick and smooth and would probably be spread and splattered somewhat more widely.  Finding a real photo and using that as a muse is always a good idea.  And the 6pdr gun barrels were painted the tank colour.

 

But - and this is perhaps more for future avoidance now - you've fallen into the trap which very many people do (egged on by a couple of Spanish "artsy" modellers with products to sell) of assuming that tanks went rusty fairly quickly. 

 

Which they did not, because of the corrosion-inhibiting properties of other metals in the various steel alloys used for armour plate.  Nickel, manganese, molybdenum, chromium were all used to some extent. This is even more true in WW1 when all armor plate was face-hardened and thus had a very high (<0.5%?) carbon content in the outer face from the heat treatment process by which mild steel was made into armour plate.  The track plates on WW1 British tanks were also made of face-hardened plate.  So rust would take very much longer to form on armour plate than on mild steels and you would be unlikely to see a rusty WW1 tank in service.  Worst case - you might get some slight rust on, and streaking from, mild steel fixtures and fittings.  If the unditching beam had been used since last maintenance then the wearing surfaces of the rails would be rusted: I don't believe they were greased.  The tanks were well-maintained, the crews and workshops took great pride in their steel beasts and they were usually only in action for a few hours at a time before maintenance periods.  Reliability was not a strong point and the maintenance burden was high.   

 

You only need look at the Mks XIII and IX at Bovington, which were parked outside the front of the museum for 35 years, to see how little face-hardened plate deteriorated.  In fact the 18 surviving WW1 rhomboid tanks around the world are all in remarkable structural condition including the several sat outside for decades in Russia, Ukraine and at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  The notable exception is the one at Ashchurch, gutted in the 20's to become a shed for an electricity substation, The MkIV in the Brussels Royal Army Museum is untouched since WW1: it has not been restored or repainted, but has been kept indoors.  And is the only surviving original whole-vehicle colour reference BTW.

 

They did leak oil from various places, oil seals in those days being much less effective and often involving leather.  Such as the 2 round bearing covers on each side behind the sponsons and the ones at the rear

 

In the late 1930s we see the arrival of Rolled Homogenous Armour as used on welded tanks (you can't weld face-hardened steel without compromising the heat treatment).  This has a lower face carbon content but still rusts only slowly.

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10 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

Well I have to say that this is a bloody good first effort!

 

The mud along the bottom is perhaps a little thick and smooth and would probably be spread and splattered somewhat more widely.  Finding a real photo and using that as a muse is always a good idea.  And the 6pdr gun barrels were painted the tank colour.

 

But - and this is perhaps more for future avoidance now - you've fallen into the trap which very many people do (egged on by a couple of Spanish "artsy" modellers with products to sell) of assuming that tanks went rusty fairly quickly. 

 

Which they did not, because of the corrosion-inhibiting properties of other metals in the various steel alloys used for armour plate.  Nickel, manganese, molybdenum, chromium were all used to some extent. This is even more true in WW1 when all armor plate was face-hardened and thus had a very high (<0.5%?) carbon content in the outer face from the heat treatment process by which mild steel was made into armour plate.  The track plates on WW1 British tanks were also made of face-hardened plate.  So rust would take very much longer to form on armour plate than on mild steels and you would be unlikely to see a rusty WW1 tank in service.  Worst case - you might get some slight rust on, and streaking from, mild steel fixtures and fittings.  If the unditching beam had been used since last maintenance then the wearing surfaces of the rails would be rusted: I don't believe they were greased.  The tanks were well-maintained, the crews and workshops took great pride in their steel beasts and they were usually only in action for a few hours at a time before maintenance periods.  Reliability was not a strong point and the maintenance burden was high.   

 

You only need look at the Mks XIII and IX at Bovington, which were parked outside the front of the museum for 35 years, to see how little face-hardened plate deteriorated.  In fact the 18 surviving WW1 rhomboid tanks around the world are all in remarkable structural condition including the several sat outside for decades in Russia, Ukraine and at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  The notable exception is the one at Ashchurch, gutted in the 20's to become a shed for an electricity substation, The MkIV in the Brussels Royal Army Museum is untouched since WW1: it has not been restored or repainted, but has been kept indoors.  And is the only surviving original whole-vehicle colour reference BTW.

 

They did leak oil from various places, oil seals in those days being much less effective and often involving leather.  Such as the 2 round bearing covers on each side behind the sponsons and the ones at the rear

 

In the late 1930s we see the arrival of Rolled Homogenous Armour as used on welded tanks (you can't weld face-hardened steel without compromising the heat treatment).  This has a lower face carbon content but still rusts only slowly.

Thanks for the information, you've told me more there than I found in a couple of weeks research on the Internet. I'm interested in the colour reference, I read that there were no reliable original colour references available, simply that the Ministry vaguely referred to the colour as something like mid-brown.

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I agree with your assessment of Das Abteilung's post.  However, can I suggest that you obtain the Warpaint series of book by Dick Brown, currently being reprinted by, I believe, the Tank Museum at Bovingdon.  Volume 1 is probably the best for you and "Tank Brown".  There is much more information in books than there is on the internet, good though the latter in for answering specific queries, but full of misinformation too.  Plus lots of inspiration for other models too.

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11 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

The notable exception is the one at Ashchurch, gutted in the 20's to become a shed for an electricity substation,

 

There were some training tanks made with plain steel, rather than the expensive armour plate. I wonder if the Ashenhurst example was one of those?

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It's a brilliant little diorama. I like the background photos which really go well with the colours of the models. Good figures too. 

 

Perhaps the tank could be more bedded into the ground, but then again the ground looks quite firm and it wouldn't necessarily have sunk in.

 

I hadn't assumed that the tank was rusty, I thought it was just brown with random mud. The reference pics are all black and white and the shades of brown are endless...

 

I liked the composition of the figure side of the dio - nice and dynamic. Clearly something exciting going on.. The other side, which I happened to see first, is a little static by comparison. I thought it was just parked.  I don't know what you might do to change that though. 

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The Ashchurch tank is a MkIV and so is armour plate.  The Mks II and III were the mild steel ones.  No Mk IIIs survive and Bovington has the sole MkII survivor as well as the sole MkI.  After WW1 about 280 tanks were given out to places with some connection to tank manufacture, training etc as memorials/monuments.  Only 3 survive and the Ashchurch tank is one of these.  The other 2 are the MkI and MkIV at Bovington.  The former was presented to the 4th Marquis of Salisbury and was kept at Hatfield House until 1969.  Hatfield Park had been used for early tank trials.  The MkIV was at the Navy gunnery school at Whale Island, where many tank gunners were trained, until the 1970s IIRC.

 

As for colour, you're all right insofar as there were no codified colour standards in WW1.  This is a subject that has come up on this forum and on Missing Lynx many times.  The contract for the MkIs did not specify a colour and it is now believed that Fosters finished them in their commercial satin Brunswick Green rather than the oft-quoted grey.  The later tanks were specified to be "Service Colour" or "Service Brown".  The only known recipe for that colour is in the Handbook For Artificers of the period.  In there is a recipe for dry-mix pigments and white lead in linseed oil, as paint was in those times, for every authorised Army colour.  Canned pre-mixed manufactured paint did not then exist.

 

The recipe cannot now be directly replicated because of the White Lead Of Death.  This gave a yellowish tinge whereas modern titanium white pigment is much brighter.  The pigmentation is very similar to that for WW2 SCC2 Brown and for the same reason: lack of Chromium pigments for greens.  It is essentially White Lead base with Ochre clay pigment with a bit of Prussian Blue.  So the general consensus of those who know these things is that the WW1 colour would be somewhat like SCC2 with a touch more green.  A greenish brown somewhere between SCC2 and Khaki Green 3.  As I said earlier, the Brussels MkIV and Bovington MkVIII model are the only known original-paint vehicles.

 

 

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I think you have done a terrific job Ian and the diorama really sets it off! Weathering looks realistic to me, including the rusting barb wire.

 

You might have inspired me to give a tank a crack, I've only built aircraft until now.

 

Cheers,

John

 

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That's a fantastic scenery! The perspective and the backdrop look very realistic. Whatever good comments are imparted above, I like your model very much (but I'm not a tank expert anyway).

 

@Das Abteilung

 

I like your  deep knowledge of tank colouring and material response to the elements. I've never really thought about it. It's difficult to 'hit' the right level of deterioration (and I'm not a fan of the 'Spanish' art either)

Your alias sounds a bit strange to German ears because Abteilung needs a feminine article like all words ending with -ung. The correct grammer would be 'Die Abteilung'.

 

Hope you don't mind me saying this.  Cheers, Michael

 

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Looks amazing, I can't believe it's your first effort at weathering! I'm just about to start my first weathering model (and only 3rd model since I used to make them as a kid) and I hope it's half as good as yours!👍

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5 hours ago, Toryu said:

Your alias sounds a bit strange to German ears because Abteilung needs a feminine article like all words ending with -ung. The correct grammer would be 'Die Abteilung'.

Yes I know.  A schoolboy grammatical error that has stuck.  I keep meaning to change it to something else but never get round to it.  "Die" of course has another meaning in English. Other forums have required a switch to real names and I thought Britmodeller might follow suit.  Of course they might be forced to do that by the sort of social media regulation legislation being considered in the UK parliament.

 

As for knowledge, you pick it up over time and hopefully it sticks.  Or you bookmark the sources...........🤔   

 

There are 4 common armour-related misconceptions seen on AFV models.

  • Armour plate does not wear, chip or scratch to silvery tones.  It is dark metallic brown all the way through, whether FHA or RHA.
  • Armour plate does not rust anything like as quickly as milder steels and does not adopt orangey rust tones.  Many "in service" tank models look like multi-year range wrecks.
  • Weld metal does not rust and remains bright and shiny pretty much for ever.
  • All-steel tracks, and many rubber-padded, do not rust to orangey tones either because of the manganese content.  Milk chocolate - milky coffee tones.

Often the age of the vehicle is not considered in heavy weathering.  No MkIV tank was ever more than a year or so old in service and they saw relatively little use outside the major offensives.  A tank is not a defensive weapon, which is why Germany did not develop many in WW1.  No Sherman, even the earliest, was ever more than 3 1/2 years old in WW2.  The 76mm types were barely in operational service for a year and the HVSS types for just a few months.  The Pz.Kpfw IV was the only tank in production throughout WW2 and even then early survivors were overhauled and upgraded or relegated to training.  British doctrine called for vehicles to be repainted when the paint coating ceased to provide sufficient protection, and at least every 5 years (hardly relevant in WW2!).  Movement between theatres also called for repainting.

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On 8/22/2021 at 12:14 AM, Das Abteilung said:

Well I have to say that this is a bloody good first effort!

 

The mud along the bottom is perhaps a little thick and smooth and would probably be spread and splattered somewhat more widely.  Finding a real photo and using that as a muse is always a good idea.  And the 6pdr gun barrels were painted the tank colour.

 

But - and this is perhaps more for future avoidance now - you've fallen into the trap which very many people do (egged on by a couple of Spanish "artsy" modellers with products to sell) of assuming that tanks went rusty fairly quickly. 

 

Which they did not, because of the corrosion-inhibiting properties of other metals in the various steel alloys used for armour plate.  Nickel, manganese, molybdenum, chromium were all used to some extent. This is even more true in WW1 when all armor plate was face-hardened and thus had a very high (<0.5%?) carbon content in the outer face from the heat treatment process by which mild steel was made into armour plate.  The track plates on WW1 British tanks were also made of face-hardened plate.  So rust would take very much longer to form on armour plate than on mild steels and you would be unlikely to see a rusty WW1 tank in service.  Worst case - you might get some slight rust on, and streaking from, mild steel fixtures and fittings.  If the unditching beam had been used since last maintenance then the wearing surfaces of the rails would be rusted: I don't believe they were greased.  The tanks were well-maintained, the crews and workshops took great pride in their steel beasts and they were usually only in action for a few hours at a time before maintenance periods.  Reliability was not a strong point and the maintenance burden was high.   

 

You only need look at the Mks XIII and IX at Bovington, which were parked outside the front of the museum for 35 years, to see how little face-hardened plate deteriorated.  In fact the 18 surviving WW1 rhomboid tanks around the world are all in remarkable structural condition including the several sat outside for decades in Russia, Ukraine and at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  The notable exception is the one at Ashchurch, gutted in the 20's to become a shed for an electricity substation, The MkIV in the Brussels Royal Army Museum is untouched since WW1: it has not been restored or repainted, but has been kept indoors.  And is the only surviving original whole-vehicle colour reference BTW.

 

They did leak oil from various places, oil seals in those days being much less effective and often involving leather.  Such as the 2 round bearing covers on each side behind the sponsons and the ones at the rear

 

In the late 1930s we see the arrival of Rolled Homogenous Armour as used on welded tanks (you can't weld face-hardened steel without compromising the heat treatment).  This has a lower face carbon content but still rusts only slowly.

Having re-read your piece, I would be grateful if you could point out the locations of excess rust on my model, there is no rust on the face of the armour plate other than streaks running down from some of the rivets, which I am sure would be a natural corrosion point. The armour plate is painted in my take on the 'mid-brown' prescribed by the ministry. As for sources, I did indeed find a number of original photos including some 'colourised' ones which did indeed show signs of streaking.

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2 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

There are 4 common armour-related misconceptions seen on AFV models.

  • Armour plate does not wear, chip or scratch to silvery tones.  It is dark metallic brown all the way through, whether FHA or RHA.
  • Armour plate does not rust anything like as quickly as milder steels and does not adopt orangey rust tones.  Many "in service" tank models look like multi-year range wrecks.
  • Weld metal does not rust and remains bright and shiny pretty much for ever.
  • All-steel tracks, and many rubber-padded, do not rust to orangey tones either because of the manganese content.  Milk chocolate - milky coffee tones.

Often the age of the vehicle is not considered in heavy weathering.  No MkIV tank was ever more than a year or so old in service and they saw relatively little use outside the major offensives.  A tank is not a defensive weapon, which is why Germany did not develop many in WW1.  No Sherman, even the earliest, was ever more than 3 1/2 years old in WW2.  The 76mm types were barely in operational service for a year and the HVSS types for just a few months.  The Pz.Kpfw IV was the only tank in production throughout WW2 and even then early survivors were overhauled and upgraded or relegated to training.  British doctrine called for vehicles to be repainted when the paint coating ceased to provide sufficient protection, and at least every 5 years (hardly relevant in WW2!).  Movement between theatres also called for repainting.

A few small notes about welded seams and tracks.


During the Second World War:


Not all welded seams on tanks are shiny. Shiny welded seams are more suitable for Russian tanks. The welds on the German tanks were mostly rusted. The one of reasons is simple - the Russians had a lot of alloying components, such as chromium, nickel, and others, the Germans catastrophically lacked them. Work culture was another factor. Low-skilled Russian welders simply would not have been able to weld with German electrodes, such armor welding requires extremely precise observance of all welding and temperature parameters. Welding with electrodes with many alloying elements is much easier because such a seam is much more plastic, less cracking (shiny seams are actually elastic and resilient stainless steel).

 

Yes, tracks were made of steel with manganese, as such steel hardens from impacts and any mechanical stress, so it is very suitable for tracks, as it is very resistant to abrasion. The gray (namely gray) alloying element manganese practically does not stop surface corrosion and almost does not change the color of the steel (I could not distinguish manganese steel from other types of carbon steels by eye, although I myself often work with metal). The orange color of rust appears when corrosion has recently begun and the iron oxide layer is still thin.

 

And one more thing about tracks: I saw a video on Youtube of Russian guys driving a crawler tractor with a very powerful engine. After a couple of hours of fast driving through the fields and meadows, there was almost no rust left on the tracks and the protruding parts became shiny (before that, the tracks were heavily rusty). With tanks, of course, it was the same. 

 

The tracks rubbed on the ground are covered with a very thin layer of rust in one night.

 

During the First World War:


In WW1 the use of Hadfield steel (Robert Hadfield was the first producer of manganese steel) for the manufacture of tank track links was first mastered by the British firm Vickers in the late 1920s. A little earlier, in 1915, the production of helmets for British soldiers began from this steel. It was the first alloy steel in the world.
Other alloying elements have not been used at a time in industrial production as far as I know.


During the First World War, tanks traveled sparsely, little, and slowly, so the tracks were always really rusty.

 

 

Vytautas

P.S. Forgive me, Ian A, for taking up your space, there was a great urge to chat :)

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I have to say that’s a fabulous build for a first job.. not seeing massive amounts of rust my self ..but I’ll leave that to the ( experts) 

the mud has already been mention my only comment on that is that if you watch footage on various sites look how the mud /soil is carried up by the tracks and dropped at various points .. 

great build and attention to detail . Well done 

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If I have mistaken mud for rust then I apologise. As I said at the top, this is a bloody good effort and I'm not back-tracking on that.  The discussion has drifted, as they often do, into wider aspects of the subject matter.

 

But at the age of the vehicle and its maintenance regime there would be no "natural corrosion".  As I said, no MkIV was ever more than a year or so old by the end of the war, mostly much less, and armour plate would not display bright rust tones in that time.  And they spent 75-80% of their lives behind the lines being looked-after.  No self-respecting tank crew, commander - or company sergeant-major - would permit their prize machine to be rusty.  This is an Army that spent time cleaning and oiling shovel blades and pick axe heads to keep rust at bay and for which soldiers would be disciplined harshly for even the smallest speck of corrosion on any of their personal equipment.  Oil and grease leaks were unavoidable in use, though, as were dirty rain streaks.

 

The MkIV in the Royal Army Museum, Brussels, is in exactly its WW1 condition entirely untouched.  It has not been restored, repainted etc.  Being indoors for a century it has not deteriorated appreciably since.  Deborah was buried for 82 years, although in a largely anaerobic situation.

 

Never ever trust a colourised photo from WW1 or WW2 as a reference.  There are few contemporary colour references to use as references and it is more art and guesswork than science.  The only one in which I would place any trust is the recent "They Shall Grow Not Old" by Peter Jackson in association with the Imperial War Museum which is based in a great deal of research of surviving uniforms, equipment etc.  WW2 original colour photos almost all show green or blue colour shifts because of the nature of the film stock of that time and are also unreliable.

 

WW1 British track plates were made from face-hardened armour, not Hadfield or other manganese-containing alloys which was reserved primarily for the production of millions of Brodie helmets from mid-1915 onwards.  Manganese was still relatively rare and hard to find and extract in that period.  Seabed harvesting of manganese nodules had not then begun.  Track plates had a habit of fracturing as a result of the face hardening.

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